The Village of Ait BenHaddou
Located in the southern slopes of the High Atlas Mountain in the Province of Ouarzazate, the site of Ait BenHaddou is the greatest ksar in the Ounila Valley.
The Ksar of Ait BenHaddou is a remarkable example of southern architecture.of morocco.
The ksar is a mostly collective grouping of dwellings. Inside the protective walls which are strengthened by angle towers and punctured with a baffle gate, houses crowd together – some modest, others resembling small urban castles with their high angle towers and upper sections ornamented with motifs in clay brick – but there are also buildings and community areas.
It is an amazing ensemble of buildings offering a complete panorama of earthen Saharan construction techniques.
The oldest buildings do not appear to be previous than the 17th century, although their structure and technique were proliferated from a very early period in the valleys of southern Morocco.
The site was also one of the trading posts on the commercial route linking Sudan to Marrakesh by the Draa Valley and the Tizin’Telouet Pass.
Architecturally, the living quarters form a dense grouping, closed and suspended.
The community areas of the ksar include a public square, a mosque, grain threshing areas outside the ramparts, a fortification and a loft at the top of the village, an caravanserai, two graveyards (Muslim and Jewish) and the Sanctuary of the Sidi Ali or Amer.
The Ksar of Ait- BenHaddou is a perfect synthesis of earthen architecture of the pre-Saharan provinces of Morocco.